The Three Worlds - The Living, The Dead, The Gods - And Man
It is said that men are miniature universes and also models of the cosmos. Men are born and die according to biological principles by repeatedly reproducing themselves. We lead our lives sometimes in the world of the living and sometimes in the world of the spirit. Throughout man’s eternal life, he experiences numerous trials from the time of his birth to his death. One of the mottos of leyasu [Tokugawa] was: “Man’s life is like traveling a great distance carrying a heavy load.” This is certainly true. As long as you are alive you have many things you must accomplish.
The universe is yours and you are a part of the universe. An individual - a human being who belongs to mankind, which is part of the earth, which in turn is part of the universe -seeks truth, goodness and beauty. Through this he continues to purify himself eternally. Men must endeavor not to leave behind regrets and work to harmonize themselves with the truth of the universe.
Men are allowed to merge with the truth of the universe but are not allowed to oppose divine rule. If men ignore divine rule while living in the present world, this action will result in the creation of bad karma. If nothing is done to rectify this, this bad karma will continue throughout eternity. This is disobedience of heavenly rule. Therefore, man will be visited by divine judgement and be unable to escape.
If men obey divine rule while in the world of the living and continue their efforts to purify themselves by seeking the truth, they will come closer to the divine. Then, when they complete their lives and enter into the spirit world, they will live in a level of the supreme realm which differs according to the individual. This is called “Heaven” in Christianity and “The Land of Happiness” in Buddhism. Those who have completed their missions in the land of the living merge with the divine beings and “Heaven” and remain there. Those who have not been sufficiently trained or have become impure and evil are sent back to the land of the living for reeducation. Also, the existence of those who are extremely bad is sometimes extinguished after being put through great hardships. In broad terms, there are two types of reincarnation: one involves those who are sent to the earth according to the will of the Divine Being from the supreme position of absolute purity. However, in 99% of the cases, the being is reincarnated for purification.
Man, whether or not reincarnated, must exert himself to the utmost on behalf of the truth while in the land of the living. If you accumulate a virtuous karma you will shine much brighter and be able to complete the life and purpose of a true person. However, if you accumulate bad karma the result will be the opposite. For example, suppose a man commits murder. Acts such as killing or injuring a person, a creature of the same species, are prohibited by law. This does not mean that one cannot commit murder because it is prohibited by law. One cannot commit such an act because it is against the laws of Heaven.
The person murdered cannot complete the natural span of his life which, consequently, forces him to break the laws of Heaven. Therefore, he bears a grudge against the murderer. Being prevented from following his intended path, his soul lingers in the land of the living where it was not originally intended to stay because he feels sorry for his murdered body, hates his murderer and for various other reasons. Thus, he brings harm not only to his murderer but to his own family as well as his offspring. This results in various misfortunes such as illness and injuries. This is called “bad karma”.
This world is full of such bad karma. It can be said that there are countless kinds. When the cause of such evil originated is not known. It must have a long history. We are now living in the world of the 20th century where material civilization is extremely developed. Living in our mechanically organized societies, people forget the life where the true spirit is the most important thing and become addicted to material things thereby losing their way. In this society of human beings overflowing with bad karma, evil engenders more evil. Perhaps it may be said that civilization is about to enter the age of the decline of man.
All of these are conclusions reached by Morihei concerning the reality of the body and spirit.
The Omoto Religion
Returning to the original subject, Morihei, thinking he had something to learn from the Omoto religion, moved to Ayabe with his entire family. They settled down in a house surrounded by a bamboo thicket and the base of Mt. Hongu. This was a lonely place where foxes and raccoons were often seen in those days. Turning left from there around the base of Mt. Hongu was the Omoto headquarters.
Looking down from atop Mt. Hongu one could see the Wachi River in the direction of the Tohoku region and the Ayabe basin from the banks of the river to the southwest. The town of Ayabe looked beautiful and peaceful in such a setting.
Here, we must learn about the Omoto religion which enticed Morihei to leave the paradise of “Shirataki” of Kitami, Hokkaido without any hesitation and come all the way to Ayabe.
According to Omoto literature and various other books, on the night of the first day of the Lunar New Year in 1892, Madame Nao Deguchi had a mysterious, inspired dream and, for the first time, she knew the existence of the divine world. Around the 10th of the same month her mental state suddenly changed completely and she became unexplicably inspired both mentally and physically. For the next 13 days, the divine world made her abstain from all food and, furthermore, ordered her to purify herself with water for 75 days. During this time she behaved like a lunatic. She shouted predictions warning about the future of the world and about the Omoto divinities of Ayabe.
During this period what Nao said was inspired and she wrote it down automatically. There are prophecies which are called the “Admonishments of the Omoto Deity”. These revelations are more than 10,000 volumes long. All of them concern the destiny of the world and they contain predictions, warnings and teachings.
“Kamigakari” refers to the condition where a human body houses a divine spirit of the highest order. There are some occasions where animal spirits of a very low level dwell in the human body but the term “kamigakari” is not used.
The deity dwelling within Nao was “Kunitokotachi”, a deity of the earth. In the beginning, as a kamigakari receiving “ofudesaki” (written oracles) she was in the condition described above. Later, however, she stopped shouting and began to write by herself using a brush.
(The full article is available for subscribers.)